The Human Fight Against Envy

I feel like envy is a hard-wired human trait that we must actively and constantly fight against. I’m sure there’s some evolutionary, survival-based reason it seems so hard-coded into the fabric of our being. We seem to naturally want to focus on that which we lack, and take for granted where we actually are and the always countless things we have to be grateful for. It takes constant, sometimes exhausting vigilance.

Today I had one of those moments. I have several friends who are full-time musicians playing all the time with great bands. Sometimes touring, sometimes mini-tours, sometimes just occasional jaunts to other cities and states. Big crowds, great venues, and busy all the time. I had a moment of sadness when I thought about how none of my full-time bands can ever be what those bands are. We have a ceiling we will never break past due to the fact that everyone (including myself) plays in multiple bands and even coordinating just occasional dates can be like orchestrating a rocket launch. Also, most of my band mates don’t do this full-time. They have jobs and families and other bands and even if Yacht Z, my Yacht Rock band started to really take off, we couldn’t do the things that my friends’ bands are doing. I’m the only one who could conceivably do this full time (and, well, kind of do along with all my other creative irons in fires as well). So it was kind of a let down for a moment knowing that we can never be [insert band here]. There is a pretty hard limit to how far we can go and how much we can play.

However, being someone who tries my best to always reframe from a place of gratitude, I had to remind myself that every journey is unique. I have to believe that I am exactly where I need to be. Like most of humanity, there is so much more I want to do, wishing I was so much “further” (a loaded and ambiguous word). I continue to believe that my whirling maelstrom of a constantly churning mind is both my biggest asset as well as my biggest flaw. Always thinking at the speed of light, layers upon layers of multi-dimensional overthinking. I haven’t had a “day job” since 2013. I play with some of the best musicians in Austin. Many people wish they had what I have, yet this human hunger plants that voice deep inside us always yearning for more, MORE, MORE. Insatiable.

If I was in the “enviable” position of some of my peers, I could probably only play with one band. Maybe two at most. Neither good nor bad, just a fact with pros and cons. It would probably make it much harder on my acting career (not that there’s been much of that for the last few years, but that’s another hunger that will be forever fed as long as I’m alive). I most definitely am grateful. I actively try to always keep perspective. I am a paradox, both always at peace, present, and grateful, and simultaneously a slavering beast, straining at my chains and fighting frustration and dissatisfaction.

I don’t know if I’m extra thinky because I just had a birthday, because it’s the end of the year, or just because it’s a new day and I am me.

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